SC Collegium recommends 8 Chief Justices for HCs

SC Collegium recommends appointment of Chief Justices of 8 HCs and transfer of CJs of 5 HCs

According to sources, Justice Rajesh Bindal will be appointed as chief justice of the Allahabad High Court

Supreme Court of India. Credit: Reuters File Photo

In a major decision, the Supreme Court Collegium has recommended appointment of regular Chief Justices in eight High Courts and transfer of Chief Justices in five other High Courts.

According to sources, Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, a senior judge of the Allahabad High Court's Lucknow bench has been recommended for appointment as Karnataka High Court Chief Justice. Born in 1960, Justice Awasthi got himself enrolled as advocate in 1987 after graduating from Lucknow University. He practiced in Civil, Service, Educational matters at Lucknow Bench, Allahabad High Court. He also worked as Assistant Solicitor General of India at Lucknow before elevation as Additional Judge on April 13, 2009. He took oath as permanent Judge on December 24, 2010.

Justice Rajesh Bindal, acting Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court, will be appointed as Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court.

Justice Bindal was appointed as the acting Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court on April 29, after the Assembly polls in West Bengal.

He was caught in the standoff between the Trinamool Congress and the Centre after elections in West Bengal.

Justice Akil Kureshi, who is currently Chief Justice of the Tripura High Court, would be  recommended to head Rajasthan High Court, while Rajasthan High Court Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty will go to Tripura High Court as Chief Justice. Justice Kureshi originally belonged to the Gujarat High Court. Earlier, the Collegium could not reach to consensus on his elevation to the top court. The deadlock on appointment of judges in the top court ended after retirement of Justice R F Nariman on August 12.

Sources said Justice Prakash Srivastava has been recommended for appointment as Chief Justice of Calcutta, Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra as Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh HC, Justice S C Sharma as Chief Justice of Telangana High Court, Justice Ranjit V More as Chief Justice of Meghalaya High Court, Justice Aravind Kumar as Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court and Justice R V Malimath as Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court.

They said the Collegium also approved transfer of Chief Justice of AP HC, Arup Kumar Goswami to Chhattisgarh HC in the same capacity, Justice Mohd Rafiq, Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh HC to Himachal Pradesh HC as Chief Justice and Justice Biswanath Somadder from Meghalaya to Sikkim High Court as Chief Justice there.

In other developments, the Collegium headed by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana has also decided on transfers of 28 judges from various High Courts.

At present, eight High Courts --Allahabad, Calcutta, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Sikkim and Telangana -- have acting Chief Justices.

The Collegium, which took the decisions on Thursday evening, is yet to make formal announcements in this regard.

On September 3, as many as 68 recommendations including 10 women, were made for appointment as High Court judges.

However, the decisions are still pending with the Centre.

Ending 22-month hiatus, the Collegium had on August 18 recommended for appointment of nine judges to the top court, which were cleared by the Centre within two weeks.

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